Category Archives: reptiles

Mongoose vs. mamba: no contest!

Here we have a fight to the death between a slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea) and the deadly black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), one of the most venomous snakes in the world. For some reason these YouTube battles of mongoose vs. snake always end with the snake losing, but of course there’s been strong natural selection for […]

That was not a 15-meter anaconda!

by Greg Mayer So here’s the wrap-up on anacondas. First, as I mentioned in the previous anaconda post, alert readers went digging and found out the true story. Reader Roger first suggested it was stretched, and, following a suggestion by infiniteimprobablit, determined it was changed from an aspect ratio of .550 (typical, I think of […]

How big is this anaconda?

by Greg Mayer The anaconda in the video posted this morning is real, but it is certainly not 15 m long. Alert readers went digging, and found clues (posted in the comments) as to what the story is. I’ll post on that later, but for now, here’s another anaconda, this one a specimen I saw […]

A 15-meter anaconda?

by Greg Mayer Matthew Cobb sent me and Jerry a Tweet that contained this video, purportedly showing a 15 meter long anaconda (Eunectes murinus) in Brazil. Commenters on YouTube suggest it’s a fake, but I see nothing to indicate that. My Portuguese is very poor: I can hear the narrator say “cobra” (=snake), “anaconda”, and […]

Bird versus chameleon

No animals were harmed in the making of this video, but one got scared. The YouTube notes: “I have 2 white bellied caique and originally I had 30 chameleons all hatched in my house after warming the eggs for 6 months without expecting them to hatch. He is one of them. The others, I donated […]

Alligators apparently swallow stones for ballast

Alligators and crocodiles are known to swallow stones, which are called “gastroliths” when they settle in the creature’s stomach. Some birds do this, too, but to help grind up their food. (Other marine creatures like seals also swallow stones.) Why do crocs and alligators do it? In the paper below, published in Integrative Organismal Biology […]

Sue’s new digs

by Greg Mayer Sue, the remarkably complete Tyrannosaurus rex discovered by (and named for) Sue Hendrickson, and excavated by Pete Larson and the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, has long graced Stanley Field Hall at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. Last year, the Museum announced that Sue would be moved upstairs, into the […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Time to think about sending me photos again; seven dollops a week really lowers the tank.  And if you’re reader Peter Ayling, please contact me, as I seem to have no copies of the photos you sent. Today we have some lovely photos from reader Terry Milewski, who has appeared on this site before (see […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have some photos from reader Don McCrady, whose work hasn’t appeared here for a while. These are some of 5,000 photos he took on a recent trip to Namibia, and we’re promised more. Don’s captions are indented. Here are a few shots of some of the wildlife we could see at the Erindi […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

This will be the last dollop of photos until mid-November, but if you’ve sent them to me, they will appear eventually. Today Reader Tony Eales from Brisbane has some great photos from Brunei. His notes and IDs are indented. So I went to Brunei as a paying volunteer on a taxonomic expedition with a group […]